Spring Trees and Grasses by a Stream
Edo period (1615–1868)
late 17th–early 18th century
One of a pair of six-panel folding screens; ink, color, gold, and silver on paper
48 in. x 10 ft. 3 in. (121.9 x 312.4 cm)
H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Gift of Horace Havemeyer, 1949
Not on view
The gently meandering stream, flowing through time and space, is unpainted except for the lines of ink that accentuate its softly curving form. A single clump of red azalea contrasts with the intense green of the pines. A glimpse of cherry blossoms in evanescent glory before they scatter on the stream marks the peak of spring, while the mountain rose (kerria) on the far bank betokens its passing.
The stream flows into autumn on the left screen (15.127), through sunlit plumes of grass and huge, already brown leaves on a magnolia tree that all but obscures the bending forms of flowering bush clover and chrysanthemum beyond. To the left, golden ginkgo leaves shimmer in the late afternoon light with bold red and white maple leaves.
The painting encapsulates stylistic features of Rinpa artists across a couple of generations, beginning with Tawaraya Sōtatsu in the early seventeenth century, and extending to Ogata Kōrin and anonymous Rinpa artists working in his wake.
(One of a pair; see 15.127)
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